In the final edit of this story.

***

He notices the rattletrap car as soon as it pulls behind him on Main Street, it follows him and is a long way back when he gets to his driveway. Victor reaches his front door and hears the ragged strains of Sweet Home Alabama blasting from a tinny car stereo, then comes the creaking and rumbling of the junk car before it rattles into his driveway. The motor chokes dead but the radio blares on as the door screeches open. Before he hears her first scream, he knows it is Linda.

She releases a string of profanity and staggers to shove the door closed. She is hair half fixed, clothes pulled in all directions, make up smeared, emaciated and stumbling. 

Victor sees the Yeager’s from next door come to their front porch. Then Linda directs her wrath on him. “Where are the kids?” She screams and staggers toward him.

Victor can’t resist “How’s recovery going?”

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